I recently posted some of my favorite Paleo recipes, and a little bit about why my husband and I follow the Paleo diet. I promised to share a little more about how to cook some of those recipes, so I am going to start with one that seems to be popular: Butternut Squash Lasagna.
The recipe is from a great website called Health Bent that we’ve referred to a lot during our Paleo journey. The squash gives it a sweetness that makes it a little different from tradition lasagna, but personally I think it is more flavorful and interesting. Not to mention you can feel good about eating your vegetables, and no pasta, in your serving of lasagna!
Let’s start with the sauce. She uses canned tomatoes and roasted red peppers. It’s delicious, but to keep it simple, I sometimes just stick with the tomatoes. That way it doesn’t have to be puréed.
For the meat, you can use ground beef like the recipe says, but Italian sausage also tastes great. I like to brown the meat with garlic, onions and sometimes bell peppers, then throw in the tomato sauce and some salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, and let it simmer while I cut up the squash.
There are some options when it comes to the squash too. We also love This Recipe from Skinny Taste that uses zucchini. I’ve even used eggplant so it’s almost like a parmigiana dish. Basically if it sounds good and you can cut it into lasagna-noodle-ish slices, it will probably work! Just remember that some squashes, like zucchini, may need to be salted and drained so you don’t end up with excess water in your lasagna.
I usually only do a couple layers, and I do add mozzarella cheese. We try to limit dairy but haven’t cut it out completely, and it wouldn’t seem like lasagna without it! But it’s totally optional. Other than that just bake as directed, and if it starts to brown too fast, cover the top with foil. Ours is a little burned here but still tasty!
A friend asked if you can roast the butternut squash seeds like pumpkin seeds. So of course I consulted Pinterest and it turns out you can! Here is a Recipe. I just baked mine with grape seed oil, sea salt, and cinnamon, and they tasted great! I’ll probably never throw them out again.
Also, in case you have some squash left over, I’m experimenting with puréeing it and using it in place of pumpkin in paleo muffins. The first batch was a little soggy but I’ll let you know if I get it right!
Edit: figured out those muffins! The important thing is to drain the squash after you purée it. I used a coffee filter. These may or may not be strictly paleo depending on what you use, but they’re full of vegetables and healthy fats, they’re moist, and they taste pretty good.
1 cup butternut squash
1 cup almond flour, almond butter, or ground up nuts
1/4 cup tapioca flour or other starch
1/4-1/2 cup sweetener of choice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix all the ingredients together, pour into muffin tins, and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Makes 2 dozen mini muffins (not sure how many regular muffins cause I can’t find my favorite muffin pan!)
Do you have an idea for Paleo lasagna? Or a favorite way to cook squash?